Wednesday, 7 December 2011


Gamers love to categorise things.  Spend ten minutes searching through the game pages on boardgamegeek and you walk away, your head a-buzz with terms like: worker placement, card drafting, action points, deck building and so forth.

These terms can be very handy for describing different games, they provide a metalanguage for talking about the mechanisms and devices used to drive the game from beginning to end; that the players must manipulate in order to play well.

Gamers also love to categorise games for occasions - what’s the best spouse game, the best two-player game, the best game to play against squirrels (Go Nuts! btw), the best game to play with an apocalypse-obsessed Mayan prophet (anything with 2012 in the title to be avoided).  Of course, like any subjective attribution, these things can be more or less useful depending on how well they align with your expectations for that category heading.  

Over the next 5 posts I will review 5 games that fill subjective categories; the category titles are a little more descriptive of the context I think the games would suit.

Stay tuned... and if you think of any fun categories - feel free to add them in the comments as we go!


  1. The downside of categorisation is that it is then used to pigeon hole people.

    We divide by 'gamers' and 'non-gamers'.

    We are abused for not liking Agricola - "he's clearly not a proper gamer"

    It's how the great Eurogame/Ameritrash Wars started and that ended in divided families left with no roof over their heads and only cubes to gnaw on.

  2. This is true - I like categories for the purpose of grouping games under a heading - good games for X occasion, or matching Y theme. They can be handy for finding games similar to those one already enjoys.

    I do also talk about gamers and non-gamers - though this parlance is intended really to talk about people who are familiar with the hobby games market and/or hobby games, and those who aren't. I certainly wouldn't attribute any positive or negative connotation to one or the other. Not everyone has the same hobby - nor should they!

    That aside, I'm not really into such things as the whole euro-ameri debates - I might like some sorts of games over other sorts of games, but this is my subjective opinion.

    When it comes down to it - I don't care what attribution people place on a game, I'll play it and judge it on its own merits!

    (and I'll usually play anything once)